Reported By: Lakhimpur team and TISS Interns
Lakhimpur, Assam: Flood is a recurrent natural disaster which affects nearly all villages of the Lakhimpur district. This article reflects on the impact of the local adaptation measures promoted by IGSSS as part of the intervention – Enhanced Community Stake Holding for Sustainable Food Security and Disaster Risk Reduction. The programme is supported by Dan Church Aid (DCA).
The community living beside the Ranga and Subansiri River Basin consider flood disaster as a part of their lives have been practicing adaptation measures based on indigenous knowledge to minimize the risk on life, livelihood and livestock from the impact of floods.
The most common practices adopted by the flood affected community include raising the floor level of the house, constructing drainage systems around the houses, animal shed. Besides, emergency kits are also kept ready which primarily comprises dry food for daily usage. Further, the community focuses on constructing their houses at a higher level and the locally available bamboo trees are also used as a pillar. Sandbags and bamboo are also used to divert water. The community stores grass in different types of container especially made of Bamboo.
People use different type of “chullah”. They use steel or iron utensil for base part and mud for upper part of “chullah”and flooded rooms are used as kitchen. They position woodblock at half the height of the house and prepares food on this. If water level rises more than woodblock then they use boat as a kitchen. They use upper wood block of house to keep the utensil and other materials for food preparing. In the interior area of village, people use boat as a mode of transport to reach the main connecting road and for work purpose. Some people have permanent boat and some people use banana steam as a temporary boat. The innovative locally adaptable techniques coupled with the resilience of the community helps them to survive the difficult times especially during the recurring floods with hope and vigor.